Have your trip planned by those who know Murray best! We've got the inside scoop on the best places to stay, eat, shop and visit. Take the work out of planning your visit with one of these full-day itineraries: The Great Outdoors or Explore Kentucky's Heritage.
Calloway County Quilt Trail
The Calloway County Quilt Trail combines art, history, and a pleasurable countryside drive. Consisting of a quilt pattern, usually with a unique meaning or story painted on a large square, the squares can be found in locations ranging from historic barns to downtown shops in the city. Visit www.murrayquilttrail.com to view a map of the trail and stories behind each pattern.
Outdoors, Hunting and Fishing
Murray and its surrounding region is ideal for hunting and fishing. Kentucky Lake is known as the “Crappie Capital” of the world. The lake also offers other types of fish such as largemouth and smallmouth bass, spots, bluegill, red ear, white bass, shell cracker, stripers and sauger. Dedicated fisherman come from near and far to sample the wealth of the lake. For those who do not already have a boat, everything from fishing boats to yachts to sailboats are available for rent.
For hunters, there are more than 250 days of hunting seasons for the area, complemented by vast hunting ground. High on the list for the regions hunters are white-tailed deer. Kentucky is regularly in the top five states in producing record book deer. Nearby Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge offers open hunting in rich bottomland hardwoods.
With its close proximity to the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, Murray is a paradise for any outdoorsman. LBL presents a big-woods hunting experience on 170,000 acres of ridges and hollows.
Murray's great outdoor life has even gained national recognition by Outdoor Life magazine. Murray State was named a top 10 university for students who love to hunt and fish.
Kentucky and Barkley Lakes, joined by a free-flowing canal, form one of the largest man-made bodies of water in North America. Combined, the two lakes have over 4,000 miles of shoreline and over 3,000 miles of water. Not only will you find fun-filled outdoor activities such as boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and camping, but you will also discover family-fun adventures in water parks, go-karts, train rides and more.
Opportunities abound for both back country and modern camping, as well as horseback riding, biking, hiking, boating and swimming. Or, go hunting during one of the area's 250 days of hunting seasons. Fishermen: Kentucky Lake is known as the "Crappie Capital" of the world.
For further information on Kentucky Lake and all it has to offer, visit www.kentuckylake.org.
Covering 164 acres of land, the Murray-Calloway County Parks system includes a pool and splash pad, nine baseball and softball fields, batting cages, 15-field soccer complex, three basketball courts, 10 covered pavilions, five playgrounds, youth climbing wall, amphitheater, three-and-a-half miles of developed nature trails, a disc golf course, a dog park, skate park, and horseshoe pits. There are also many unique historic sites located in the parks including Calloway County’s first courthouse, a 1907 train depot and caboose, a tobacco barn and Water’s 1925 one-room schoolhouse. Bee Creek is the home to local soccer and now includes 1.25 miles of paved walking trails, a pavilion and playground.
Thanks in part to the community’s parks, Murray has been named a Playful City USA for six years in a row. The only city in Kentucky to be so honored in consecutive years, the award is given to communities that have a great place to play within walking distance.
Rapidly growing, disc golf is similar to traditional golf but with Frisbee-like discs. The 5,200 foot long, 18-hole Central Park Disc Golf Course has a par of 58 and challenges experienced players or beginners. The parks department offers retail sales of Innova disc golf equipment at its office, located at 900 Payne Street.
The American Society of Golf Architects designated the Frances E. Miller Memorial Golf Course as one of the best designed 18-hole courses in America. It presents a unique challenge for competitive and recreational golfers alike. Measuring 6,592 yards from the championship tees, the par-71 layout has two distinct nines which require a wide array of shot-making. The outward nine is set on hilly terrain and requires pinpoint accuracy from tee to green, whereas the inward half rewards length and accurate long-iron play. The facility also offers two large practice putting greens, as well as a wide two-level practice tee and a spacious 315 yard driving range. Sullivan's Par 3 Golf and Sports Center offers an 18-hole executive golf course and a driving range, where during the peak season, the range is lighted for night practice. Sullivan's also houses an 18-hole miniature golf course and batting cages.
Murray State University
U.S. News and World Report has recognized MSU among America's top public universities. The university offers a quality education to more than 10,000 students from all over the world. MSU is accredited by 16 different professional accreditation councils that measure the prestige of its undergraduate and graduate programs. The friendly atmosphere, high-quality faculty and small class size gives students the opportunity to grow as individuals and work together as a community.
Murray State has been nationally recognized for its residential college system, focusing not only on providing students with a quality education, but also on placing them in an environment where lifelong friendships can be established. To learn more about Murray State University, visit www.murraystate.edu.
Murray State Arboretum
Take a leisurely stroll through one of the largest and most diverse plant collections in Kentucky at the Murray State Arboretum. A 25-foot hill with two waterfalls coming from a small pond at the summit makes for a scenic view. Enjoy a walk through two miles of community and display gardens, featuring unique plants and flowers.
Forrest C. Pogue Library
The Special Collections Library, located in the Forrest C. Pogue Library, includes materials relating to the history and culture of western Kentucky and Tennessee, especially TVA and Civil War materials. Visitors can also enjoy tracing their genealogy in the vast records. On the National Register of Historic Places, the building was constructed in Renaissance Revival style, featuring bronze doors on the east and west entrances, and is often the building used to represent Murray State University.
Wrather West Kentucky Museum
Wrather West Kentucky Museum is located in the first permanent building constructed on the Murray State campus and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum holds both permanent and changing exhibits and highlights an understanding of Murray State, Murray and the entire Jackson Purchase region.
Murray State University provides excellent Division I athletic events. Whether it is football, basketball, soccer or volleyball, spectators are sure to find unparalleled excitement. To view an athletic events schedule, visit goracers.com.
The CFSB Center
The CFSB Center, is a $23 million multi-purpose facility used for Racer basketball games, concerts, conventions and trade shows. Four concourses, nine basketball courts, five volleyball courts, four tennis courts, a rubberized indoor walking track and retractable seating provide the facility with versatility.
The William "Bill" Cherry Agricultural Exposition Center, commonly referred to as the Expo Center, hosts a wide variety of events from livestock and horse shows to circuses, truck pulls, motocross and much more. Over 25,000 people from far and wide attend the various events held annually. In 2010, the Expo Center will host events such as the popular Bull Blowout February 19th-20th and The World Famous Lipizzaner Stallions April 15th. To find details about scheduled events, call 270-809-3125.
Located on the campus of Murray State University, the Clara M. Eagle Art Gallery is a multi-level exhibition space allowing visitors as well as locals to experience art first-hand. The gallery features diverse shows; from art classics to contemporary, from student work to national juried shows. Also on campus, the Curris Center Gallery is home to a wide variety of exhibits throughout the year. Both galleries are free to the public.
The Murray Art Guild, a local, non-profit educational and cultural organization, offers classes and workshops to help develop the talents of local artists. Classes range from photography to drawing to rug weaving, and are taught for multiple skill-levels. For those who enjoy viewing art more than creating it, the guild displays several shows at the Robert O. Miller Conference Center, located on the court square.
Theatre and Music
Escape life's realities and tantalize your imagination by attending a Playhouse in the Park performance in Central Park. Housed in a 1907 train depot, Playhouse's location adds a dramatic effect to its plays.
Murray State University's Music Department and Department of Theatre and Dance provide concerts, plays, and dance productions throughout the school year.
Lovett Live consists of two concert series held at Murray State’s Lovett Auditorium that bring fans closer to the music. With the Onstage Series shows, sit on stage with the artist, close enough to ask questions and hear the stories behind the songs from the artists themselves. The intimate coffee-house style seating for 200 includes tables, leather sofas and giant chairs. The Concert Series shows get you closer to the music by bringing new and favorite artists to Murray, so fans don’t have to travel to major cities to see great bands. Lovett Live features local artists, Nashville singer/songwriters and artists you may be surprised are stopping in Murray.
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